While it wasn't our favorite, the Mamut Ophir 3 Slide is still a good option for sport or trad climbing. Our testers all liked it but didn't find anything that particularly stood out. It is moderately comfortable, has decent features, and is pretty mobile but it wasn't as good at any of these things as other harnesses in the review. The most important thing to consider when picking a harness is fit, so if this one fits you well, we suspect you'll fall in love and tell your friends how great your harness is.
Mammut Ophir 3 Slide ReviewPrice: $71 List | $43.73 at REI
Compare prices at 4 resellers Pros: Offset gear loops make getting a good fit easier, breathable, plastic guard reduces wear when walking
Cons: Not that comfortable, gear loops weren't as nice as others, waist buckle placement is more difficult for righties
Weight (size medium): 14.8 oz
Gear Loops: 4
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Mammut Ophir 3 Slide is a good harness with a few features that are either innovative or gimmicky depending on your perspective. During our testing period, this model handled routes from the gym to the crag.
Standing & Hanging Comfort
This harness uses Mammut's "two part webbing technology," which is very similar to Black Diamond's "Dual Core Construction" or Petzl's "Endoframe." Cutting through the marketing speak, this design is basically two pieces of webbing with foam and mesh in between…but that just doesn't have the same ring to it. This semi-breathable double webbing technology makes the Mammut Ophir 3 Slide a pretty comfortable harness to stand around in. It is less sweaty than the thickly padded harnesses like the Metolius Safe Tech All-Around.
When our testers used the Ophir 3 individually, they found it to be relatively comfortable for hanging. However, when we hung in this one during our side-by-side tests, we quickly dropped it down a couple hanging comfort points. While it isn't necessarily uncomfortable, it also isn't as comfortable as most of the harnesses in the review.
The padding on the waist is decent, but the leg loops are pretty narrow and tended to cut into our legs during extended hangs. If you're just falling a couple of times while climbing a route on top rope, you probably won't notice. But if you're belaying your friend who won't stop falling and hanging on the rope, you might like a bit more padding.
This is a pretty good trad and sport climbing harness, but it doesn't particularly excel at either discipline. The gear loops are adequate, but don't stick out as much as we like for a good sport climbing harness. However, the gear loops are pretty wide and can accommodate nine carabiners each, which is a bonus for trad climbing (now, if only it were more comfortable to hang in!). If you climb alpine or ice, you won't find any ice clipper slots on this one. There is a small place at the back of the harness to clip a chalk bag as well as a haul loop.
The belay loop and upper tie-in point have red indicator strips underneath the outer nylon material. If either wear down enough to expose the red indicator, you know it's time to buy a new harness. There is also a plastic guard on the lower tie-in point. As this is the area of a harness with the highest wear, this is a nice touch. If you walk a lot in your harness, this will significantly increase its life because walking subjects the lower tie in point to a lot of friction.
None of our testers complained about poor mobility in this harness. We could reach our feet and high step with ease. The harness' moderately low profile design never got in the way.
If it had ice clipper slots, this would be a pretty versatile harness. As it is, it'll be great for climbs in the gym or crag but won't excel for specific uses like alpine climbing or onsight attempts where you need easy access to your draws. However, if you climb lots of chimneys or huge leg swallowing off widths, you'll appreciate the low profile and flexibility of the gear loops. Some harnesses like the Black Diamond Chaos have rigid gear loops that stick out and are uncomfortable when you're in a squeeze.
The Slide 3 has as many buckles as its name suggests. One complaint that several of our right handed testers mentioned is that the waist buckle is on the right side rather than the left. Since it's easiest to reach across your body to tighten something, this buckle is best for left handed folks. The leg loops use auto-locking buckles making this harness a bit more adjustable than the Black Diamond Momentum harness that has very similar features and is a little more comfortable, but has less adjustable trakFIT sliders on the leg loops.
One super nice feature on the Mammut Ophir 3 Slide is that the gear loops are offset relative to one another. This makes it easier to get a great fit that centers the belay loop and the haul loop. To understand why this matters, we need to briefly discuss size ranges with one buckle harnesses. Usually, manufactures align the gear loops based on the smallest size on the range. If you're near the max end of the range, your gear loops are likely to be several inches off kilter. Mammut aligned the gear loops to the middle of the size range. This means that as long as you fit within Mammut's stated range for their harness, you should be able to get a good waist fit that offsets the haul loop no more than an inch or two off-center. If you've ever worn a harness with off kilter gear loops, you'll understand the benefits of this design.
Because it isn't super comfortable or super light, this harnesses works the best at the gym or for single pitch cragging. This isn't the harness we'd choose for long multi-pitch climbs that require hanging belays. That said, if it fits you really well, you will likely love it for long and short climbs alike.
For $55, this harness is a great pick if you're buying your first harness or just need something for the gym or local crag. If you want adjustable leg loops and don't like Black Diamonds trackFIT system, you could spend $10 more and buy the Petzl Corax that has better gear loops, is more comfortable, and has a more adjustable waist belt.
While it may not be the best at any one thing, this harness has a decent mix of features and is a good pick if you want an inexpensive harness. The offset gear loops, plastic cover on the lower hard point, and indicator warning strips are great features that might be exactly what you're looking for. If you want a breathable harness that doesn't break the bank, this is a good pick.
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Most recent review: April 20, 2015
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